10 of the best festivals in Aruba
Aruba is definitely one of the livelier Caribbean islands, and boasts a constant stream of festivals throughout the year. Whether it’s water sports, gastronomy, music or a colourful Mardi Gras – Aruba doesn’t need much excuse to fill out its streets for a party. If you’re visiting Aruba soon, check to see if any of these lively gems fall during your holiday dates.
Unashamedly loud and colourful, The Aruba Carnival the most vivid event in the entire festival calendar. The most recent one lasted from November 2016 until March 2017 and included several spectacular events including the Jouvert Morning Pajama Parade, Children's Balloon Parade and a Mardi Gras event – before finishing off with Carnival Monday.
Aruba Fashion Week
Aruba is well-respected within the Caribbean for its taste in fashion and Aruba Fashion Week is a big event. The next Fashion Week is taking place in December, with 18 designers ready to showcase their newest designs and a trade show with 25 exhibitors signed up already.
Aruba Food Truck Festival
Food trucks have been changing the foodie landscape across the world – and Aruba is no exception. Back in April the country held its very first food truck festival, at Plaza Nikki Habibe, with eight different food truck companies in attendance along with four beer tents.
Aruba boasts the perfect weather conditions for windsurfing, so it’s no surprise that the largest amateur windsurfing event in the Caribbean takes place here every year. Aruba Hi-Winds attracts over 100 amateur windsurfers from the Caribbean, U.S., Europe, and Latin America, and they go onto compete in various competitions, in different categories, off the shore of Fisherman’s Huts.
This is Aruba’s largest traditional music event and features more than 50 musical acts performing traditional Dande song using authentic Aruban instruments such as the tambu, wiri and raspa. The Dande Festival always typically takes place over the New Year period, and the next one starts in December 2017.
The festivals in Aruba are not all about sports or traditional culture – Love Festival brings together some of the best dance acts in the world to party under the sunny skies. The 2017 edition will be held in December and will feature Roger Sanchez, Stefano Noferini, and Dennis Ferrer.
National Anthem and Flag Day
On March 18th 1976, the Aruban flag that we now know was officially adopted to the sound of Aruba Dushi Tera (composed by Padu del Caribe, Hubert Booi and Rufo Wever). Every year since, a charming folkloric festival is held at Plaza Betico Croes in Oranjestad, along with a food festival and other cultural events.
Aruba Wine and Dine Restaurant Week
The date for the next Wine and Dine Restaurant Week is yet to be set, but it’s one of the biggest food related events on the island. Every year, several restaurants from across the island offer an exclusive Restaurant Week menu with terrific savings. Care is also taken to ensure that these restaurant hit different foodie types – whether you’re after fine-dining or fun family tapas!
Annual Aruba International Pro Am Golf Tournament
Golfing is amazing in Aruba, and in late August professional and amateur golfers get together for this two-day, 36-hole tournament featuring gifts, prizes, and special events. It’s held at the Tierra del Sol Golf course in the north of the island, and features a challenging course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. with a desert layout similar to links courses of the American Southwest.
Need more golf? In December Aruba will see another golf tournament rock up on its shores. This competition will feature only top golfers as they go head to head for coveted title, and is also held at the Tierra del Sol Golf course. If you stay at the attached accommodation during the Aruba Cup you’ll be treated to Unlimited Golf, daily breakfast, use of the pool, gym, sauna and steam room, complimentary wireless internet access and $35 credit to be used at the Spa.
What’s your favourite Aruba festival?
Edited by Morag@BarrheadTravel